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ALOFI, Niue (June 7, 2001 - Niue Economic Review/PINA Nius Online)---The French company Alcatel has been selected by Tonga Communications Corporation, the only mobile phone operator in the kingdom, to build Tonga's first digital cellular network.

This GSM 900 network initially will be able to support 5,000 subscribers.

It will allow Tonga Communications Corporation to offer value added services such as Voice Mail and Short Message Service (SMS) to its mobile subscribers for the first time.

This network is expected to be operational by the third quarter of this year.

Under the contract, Alcatel will provide Tonga Communications Corporation with the entire GSM 900 network (both radio and core network) and full support for any planning to expand the network.

Included in the network will be a mobile service switching center, a base station controller, a transcoder and four base transceiver stations.

Three of the stations will be situated on the main island of Tongatapu with the fourth to be built on Vava'u.

For additional reports from the Niue Economic Review, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Magazines/Journals/Niue Economic Review.

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